Estate planning protects one’s valuable assets in New York

People typically are focused in their efforts to obtain more money or more possessions in order to have a good quality of life in New York. However, they often neglect to think beyond their own lives and pay little attention to what will happen to these valuable assets once they die. This is particularly true for young people, who naturally feel invincible and don’t think they’ll have to worry about death for several decades. However, death can strike at any time, and having a well-thought-out estate plan can ensure that a person’s assets end up in the right hands when death comes.

It is wise, for instance, to talk to one’s family members about how his or her financial portfolio looks. This portfolio may include investments and bank accounts, for example. It may help to put a transfer on death, or TOD, on one’s accounts so that they immediately go to a designated beneficiary instead of ending up in the lengthy probate process as well.

It also helps to give one’s children trading authorization, or the ability to enter orders for one’s accounts. A parent additionally can allow a child to serve as power of attorney when necessary. Furthermore, it might be expedient to establish an account for funeral costs, which the children can use upon a parent’s death, in addition to naming children as beneficiaries on one’s retirement accounts.

If a person fails to take the proper steps to safeguard his or her personal assets in the event that he or she dies, the State of New York may have to decide how these items ultimately will be distributed. The outcome of the probate process very well may not be in the best interest of family members who are left behind to deal with the complex process. For this and other reasons, estate planning is vital for a family’s continued well-being.

Source:, Your Money Matters: Estate planning tips , No author, Feb. 24, 2014

New York estate planning involves developing a will or trust

People typically don’t like to hear the words “too late,” as this usually signifies that he or she has missed something desirable. Although putting together a will is hardly regarded as something desirable to most families, who prefer to think about less-morbid topics, the results are highly sought-after when a New York resident ends up dying unexpectedly. Understanding laws related to estate planning may help a person to make the best choices possible when deciding how to pass down one’s assets to beneficiaries .

People can choose among a variety of vehicles used in estate planning, but the will and the trust are the most popular. A trust is a pool of cash, investments and other assets that are maintained for a beneficiary. A trustee manages this pool, and the person creating the trust can decide how to distribute the assets in the event of his or her death.

A will is a legal document that basically explains how one wants assets and property distributed and divided upon one’s death. A trust is more complex and expensive to set up than a will. However, a trust does offer the benefit of helping to avoid the lengthy process of probate .

Making the decision to create a will or set up a trust can have positive long-term effects on a family. On the contrary, failure do so means that the state will have to get involved in distributing one’s valuable assets and property, and the outcome may not be in line with what one would have preferred. It certainly is within the rights of an individual in New York to seek to control his or her assets posthumously through the legal avenue of estate planning.

Source:  Forbes, Wills vs. Trusts: What’s Best For Retirees? , Thomas and Robert Fross, Feb. 18, 2014

Estate planning protects one’s assets, family in New York

People make several mistakes in life; after all, they are only human. However, some mistakes may be more costly than others, and some might have more wide-ranging effects than others do. One mistake that families often make is failing to participate in estate planning in New York. Not doing so can ultimately cause one’s valuable assets and property to end up distributed by the state, according to the laws of intestacy.

A person may choose to establish a trust, in which he or she can name someone — such as a child — as the beneficiary. Trusts are different from wills because they are private documents. Therefore, the details of the trust are not public knowledge and typically are not even subject to probate .

A revocable living trust typically is the best tool for many individuals who are trying to complete estate planning. The trust allows the probate process to be less complex and time-consuming when one dies. In addition, the beneficiary of the trust can receive distributions stretched out over time instead of in one lump sum, which can be helpful for young children who are not quite prepared to handle large sums of money.

Estate planning is critical because it allows an individual to dictate who will be beneficiaries and what these individuals will receive when the individual creating the estate passes away. An estate may feature investments, cash, vehicles and homes — to name just a few of the potential assets. Each person reserves the right to seek his or her family members’ best interests through comprehensive estate planning in New York.

Source:  Forbes, Five Estate Planning Lessons From The Paul Walker Estate , Danielle and Andy Mayoras, Feb. 10, 2014

Estate planning important for all families in New York

When a man and a woman have a baby in New York, putting together a will often is the last thing they want to do. After all, they are consumed with other urgent life demands, or they simply don’t want to be bothered with an activity that seems so morbid. The complexity of the process also may deter some individuals from wanting to engage in estate planning — especially those with blended families. However, wills are typically essential in any family situation, helping to protect one’s assets and pass them down to the right beneficiaries in the event of the person’s death.

Both parties in a married couple may opt to create wills in which they leave all assets to the surviving spouse. Then, once the second spouse dies, the assets could be distributed to the children. However, it is worth noting that, even after a will has been created, either spouse certainly has the right to change his or her will at any time.

A trust is another helpful estate planning tool. Creating a trust typically is the best estate-planning option for blended families. A trust ensures that a spouse is taken care of, and it also protects one’s assets for children in addition to offering some tax advantages. If a beneficiary is not fiscally responsible, a trust can actually keep him or her from accessing all of his or her inheritance at once as well.

Estate planning indeed can be complex, requiring an individual to make tough decisions regarding which family members will get certain assets if he or she dies. However, failure to create a will or trust means that the state will end up deciding how these assets will be distributed in such a situation. Taking time to develop a will enables an individual to retain control of how his or her property is distributed when he or she passes away in New York.

Source:, Estate planning for blended families can get complicated , Carissa Giebel, Jan. 31, 2014

Will execution in New York involves updating beneficiary names

An individual finally got the courage one day and took time to put a will together. The task may have seemed daunting, requiring the person to think about a topic that he or she really would have preferred to avoid: death. However, in the end, the person’s beneficiaries will be in the best position to have access to his or her assets in the event of the person’s death in New York. The problem, however, is that the beneficiaries’ names have not been updated in years; this is perhaps the biggest mistake a person can make during the process will execution .

It is important to remember to update the names of beneficiaries for one’s various assets. These may include college savings plans and bank accounts as well as retirement plans. Also included in this list of essential assets to update are life insurance policies and mutual funds.

Failing to update the beneficiaries’ names regularly means that one’s valuable assets may end up going to a former spouse or to another undesired person. When naming beneficiaries, it is wise to also list secondary beneficiaries. This is essential because if a primary beneficiary dies before the person who created the will dies and there is no secondary beneficiary listed, then the individual’s assets will have to go through the time-consuming and costly process of probate .

Will execution permits a person to pass important assets and property to the right beneficiaries. However, even after a will has been created, the individual will benefit from constantly ensuring that all beneficiaries’ names are updated; this can be done once a year. Through proper will execution, individuals can rest assured that all of their valuable items will end up in the proper hands upon their passing in New York.

Source:  The Wall Street Journal, Don’t make the No. 1 estate-planning goof , Harper Willis, Jan. 23, 2014